The scenic Texas Hill Country offers visitors a myriad of things to see and do. So, it is little wonder is in among Texas’ most popular tourist destinations. However, with so much to take in, it is inevitable some things will be overlooked.
Among the most overlooked attractions in the Hill Country are the regions many vineyards and wineries. The quantity and quality of these vineyards is often underestimated – even by seasoned travelers. In fact, no fewer than four dozen wineries and vineyards dot the Hill Country landscape and most produce highly acclaimed wines.
The Texas Hill Country Wine Trail
A good number of these wineries participate in one or more “wine trails,” giving visitors some ease of access and convenience with their visits. The overriding theme is comprised under the banner of Texas Hill Country Wine Trail. But, seasonal and themed trails are held throughout the year.
Among the more popular wine trails in the Texas Hill Country are the Wine and Wildflowers Trail, which is held in April, the Texas Wine Month Trail, which is held in October, and the Christmas Wine Affair, which is held in December. In addition to participating in trails, most of the Hill Country wineries host special events and are open to host receptions, weddings and other private events.
Of course, with so many wineries being scattered throughout the region, it is nearly impossible to visit them all. Many times, which winery to visit is most easily selected by relative proximity to a particular Hill Country city or town. At other times, reputation, special features and/or events draw visitors to a particular winery versus another. To that end, here is a quick glance at a handful of popular Hill Country wineries.
Popular Texas Hill Country Wineries
Located in Stonewall, Beckard’s Vineyard hosts events, tastings and tours within the walls of its stunning stone reception hall. Wines from Beckard’s Vineyard are so renowned, they are served at the White House. A number of events are held at Beckard’s Vineyard throughout the year, including weekly live music events, giving visitors an opportunity for a unique visit regardless of the season.
Outside Comfort is another popular vineyard – the Bending Branch Vineyard. Located on a 56-acre tract, Bending Branch features 20 acres planted in 16 variety of grapes, which are used to make the vineyard’s award-winning wines.
The popular Hill Country town of Fredericksburg features a number of different wineries. The Chisholm Trail Winery is located just outside of town and is a popular stop for visitors. One of two Fiesta Winery locations is found near Fredericksburg as well. Visitors to Fiesta Winery have the option of having their wine in the expansive tasting room or on the oversized front porch outside of the winery. Of course, the Fredericksburg Winery is located in its namesake town and has been named as one of the top three wine producers in Texas by USA Today. Grape Creek Vineyards is one of the oldest producing vineyards in Texas, having been established in 1983. Grape Creek Vineyards is also one of the most decorated wineries in Texas, having been awarded medals throughout North America. 4.0 Cellars, Armadillo Leap Winery, Inwood Estates Winery & Bistro, Lost Draw Cellars, Messina Hof Hill Country Wineries, Pontotoc Vineyard, Rancho Ponte Vineyards, Santa Maria Cellars, and Torre di Pietra Vineyards are all located in or near Fredericksburg as well.
Several other Hill Country towns feature more than one winery as well. Drippings Springs is home to three different wineries – Bell Springs Winery, Hawk’s Shadow Winery, and Solaro Estates. Two wineries call Spicewood home – Spicewood Vineyard and Stone House Vineyard. Comfort is home to the aforementioned Bending Branch Winery, as well as Singing Water Vineyard. Those visiting Lampasas have the opportunity to visit a variety of wineries, including Pillar Bluff Vineyards and the Texas Legato Winery. Driftwood Estate Winery, Wimberley Valley Winery and the Dutchman Family Winery are found in Driftwood, while San Saba features the Old Man Scary Cellars and Wedding Oak Winery.
One of the most unique wineries in Texas is found just outside of Vanderpool. The Lost Maples Winery takes its name from the nearby state natural area, which is famous for its forests of maple trees, which turn a splendid array of reds and oranges each fall. Often, the changing of the leaves at Lost Maples State Natural coincides with the Wine Month Trail during October, making autumn months an outstanding time to visit Vanderpool, its winery and state natural area.
Stonewall features a pair of popular wineries – Pedernales Cellars and Woodrose Winery. Pedernales Cellars allows visitors to tour their underground winemaking cellars. Visitors can also enjoy tasting the award winning wines at Pedernales Cellars while lounging on their expansive deck, which is shaded by dozens of live oak trees. Woodrose Winery offers both restaurant style tasting, as well as a 3,000 foot outdoor deck for wine tastings. Both Pedernales Cellars and Woodrose Winery host a variety of events throughout the year as well.
Marble Falls is also home to a pair of wineries. Flat Creek Enoteca and Flat Creek Estate are both located there. Flat Creek Estate features a 10,000 case winery and dining facilities that can be reserved for private dinners or events. Flat Creek Enoteca is one of the state’s newest wineries, having been established in 2014, serves wines produced at Flat Creek Estate. Enoteca also features wood fired pizzas, artisan cheeses, an expansive tasting room, wine shop and weekly live music.
A relatively new winery (established in 2010), Westcave Cellars Winery is located along the scenic Hamilton Pool Road in Round Mountain, which is about 30 miles outside of Austin. Westcave Cellars Winery is a perfect stop to wind down a day after visiting Hamilton Pool Preserve or Westcave Preserve. Westcave Cellars Winery also features live music every Sunday.
So, regardless of where you find yourself in the Texas Hill Country, odds are there is a vineyard or winery located nearby. And, chances are there will be live music, tastings, tours or other events going on at these wineries no matter the time of year, making a visit to a Hill Country winery a great way to cap off a vacation to the Lone Star State.